The Coleman A. Young Foundation (CAYF) has recognized principal Dr. Deborah Jenkins as the 2016 Educator of the Year, saying she epitomizes the leadership qualities of the late Mayor of Detroit, Coleman Alexander Young. She seizes opportunities to help prepare the youth of Detroit.
“Dr. Jenkins deserves to be Educator of the Year because she concentrates on educating the whole child: socially, academically and emotionally,” said English teacher Sherrhonda Denice. “She focuses on all the things that impact a young person.”
Jenkins was nominated for the CAYF Educator of the Year by her colleagues through letters of support. Those were followed by a school visit by representatives of the Foundation and then an interview.
Administrative assistant Danita Williams is one of the staff members who recommended Jenkins because of her dedication to the students of King.
“During the current teacher shortage in DPS, Dr. Jenkins, aside from her duties as principal, taught mathematics classes for three consecutive years to keep as many children as possible educated,” said Williams.
As a member of the Michigan Association of Secondary Schools Principals, Jenkins continuously puts forth efforts to give legislators and the community a better view of the circumstances inner city students face.
“I’m fighting against the bad perceptions of the city and bringing forth some of our good,” said Jenkins. “A lot of times, people fall victim to the news and they think that’s the gospel truth.”
Jenkins has been with Detroit Public Schools for 41 years and has remained because of her love for the district.
“I love Detroit Public Schools. There is a lot of pride in our city, great people, and many opportunities to help shape young lives. Detroit is my home and I enjoy serving where I live,” said Jenkins.
“As a Detroiter and a committed reflective educator striving to improve daily, I feel that I am in the best place for this opportunity.”
Even with her years of experience, accolades, and education, Jenkins said she believes there is always room for improvement.
“Successful educators are willing to learn more, work smarter and continuously improve their service to the children and communities that we serve. I am a born educator and work hard to become a great educator,” Jenkins said.
“Our singular purpose is to grow our students into greatness. Anything less is unacceptable,” said Jenkins.